Adam Elliott, NRCS District Conservationist, Ashland, KS
Bill Barby, Rancher, B bar B, Protection, KS
GRAZING LAND ISSUES IN THE CLARK COMANCHE MEADE COUNTIES AREA
Ranchers in these three south central Kansas counties are interested in grazing management strategies to improve rangeland forage production, plant diversity, and wildlife habitat. Drought management planning is important to a successful ranch plan as well. Woody plant invasion in the two county area is being managed with prescribed burns in upland areas to control Eastern red cedar and approved chemical treatment is used in productive grassland riparian areas to address problem stands of Salt Cedar (Tamarix). Ranchers in these counties are included in the Lesser Prairie Chicken (LECP) Habitat Initiative area and may be eligible for technical and financial assistance to improve lesser prairie chicken habitat.
The group held a kick-off event on August 4, 2011 with over 90 people attending at Meade State Lake, south of Meade. The session included plant identification, guessing the forage needs of a cow-calf pair for the grazing season, identifying and determining control options for a number of problematic weeds, a MYDEE HANDEE solar powered panel and water pump, and the evening ended with a hamburger fry provided by Dow Agro Science.
A winter session was held February 9 at the County Fairgrounds in Ashland to cover drought and contingency planning, a presentation made by David Kraft, NRCS state range conservationist, Emporia. Seventy-two people came out to learn more about how to manage during and coming out of a drought. The noon time meeting included a great meal from JD's BBQ, Greensburg.
A late summer/early fall pasture walk event is being planned, so look for more information to come.